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Cricket, polls and high consumption in economy to drive strong adex growth for TV, radio and digital in 2019

GroupM’s report says 37% of incremental ad spends will go towards digital advertising, including mobile. Digital adex will continue to grow by 30% in 2019 to Rs 16,038 crore. TV and radio will grow by 15%. Growth for print will remain sluggish at over 2%

Riding on the back of the improving consumption in the economy, advertising growth across all mediums, excluding print, is likely to be solid in 2019, feels the top brass of GroupM, the media investment group of WPP.

Other factors contributing to the ad growth are mega cricket events such as IPL and World Cup. Adding to the media's kitty are the upcoming general elections, which has boosted government and political advertising across platforms, especially digital.

The brightest outlook among all platforms is for digital, which is getting almost 37% share of the incremental advice spending. The revenue for digital, including mobile, is pegged to be above Rs 16,000 crore. TV and radio are also on a strong growth strategy.

As per the GroupM futures report 'This Year, Next Year' (TYNY) 2019, India tops the list as the fastest growing major ad market in the world. India's advertising investment will touch an estimated Rs 80,678 crore this year, which is 14% more than last year.

Despite regulatory headwinds TV to see a major advice growth

In spite of the upheaval in the distribution eco system of television, advertisers are expecting 15% growth in television advertising and it is forecast to touch Rs 38,612 crore in 2019.

Advertising on television is said to grow on the back of three main events — 2019 general elections, World Cup 2019 and IPL 2019. The advertisers are expecting 3% of organic growth from these special events.

Sam Singh

Speaking about the ad growth, Sam Singh, CEO, GroupM South Asia, said, “This year, the World Cup and elections are happening at the same time so this is not a typical phenomena. Also, the deconstruction of 14% into 11% and 3% doesn't mean that if elections and the World Cup weren't there then it will be 11%. It would be a totally different marketplace and I think we should keep these two facts separately.” 

Prasanth Kumar

Asked if TRAI’s tariff regime will have an impact on the projected ad revenue, Prasanth Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, GroupM South Asia, said, “It is not just supply but also the need for advertisers to reach the audience. For now, we are not seeing much. We can only determine if it is loss or profit when viewership data comes out. We are understanding how the market is progressing. We are working with different broadcasters to understand the market and I think we need to see the complete aspect of viewership and overall distribution. It is a day to day thing for us and we are taking it on daily basis.”

When it comes to television, original programming and technology-enabled targeting are other two trends that will be seen in 2019. Kumar said there will be a lot of emphasis on content from broadcasters. He stated that with growing TV base, there is a potential of sharper targeting of households, which might further allow programmatic platform for TV. GroupM is working closely with technology partners to see how they can use these practices in a much more effective manner and offer targeting perspective for their clients.

Apart from special events, auto, retail, e-commerce, tech/telecom are other ad growth drivers for the industry and is expected to contribute to 2/3rds of ad expenditure. Singh says the cost of ownership in auto will either stabilise or go down. “We are seeing strong consumption in FMCG. Health and wellness products are growing in demand, especially from the urban elite market. Food and beverage is also seeing a larger play. Furthermore, if oil prices go down then this sector will benefit. In the auto sector, we are expecting 13+ launches in the category and we are also witnessing growth in the electronic vehicles towards the end of the year.”

Singh says other sectors such as food delivery and online payment is also witnessing a positive growth.

Digital continues its sprint

Digital is another medium that has recorded a study growth. As per the GroupM futures report ‘This Year, Next Year’ (TYNY) 2019, 37% of incremental ad spends will go towards digital advertising. including mobile.

With 2019 general elections around the corner, Kumar says the opportunities are growing from a digital perspective with election and political advertising. “The political digital spends is almost 50-50. If we look at sports inflation as well, nearly 20%-25% will go to digital media. There is World Cup and IPL. Plus, a lot of OTT platforms are launching, so it is interesting to see how things are placed,” he added.

Tushar Vyas

On digital, Tushar Vyas, President Growth and Transformation, South Asia, said consumption from rural markets is growing three times faster due to the easy availability of data. Vyas said, “In terms of trend, digital is seeing artificial intelligence blending into the day to day life of the consumer and is getting omnipresent through various forms like Alexa. Also OTT platforms allow all the niche genres to co-exist, which is further scaling the growth of digital.”

Sports to provide a massive adex push

Apart from digital content, sports is also another growth driver for advertisers in 2019, especially e-sports consumed on mobile. Vinit Karnik, Business Head, Entertainment, Sports and Live Events at GroupM, said, “We are expecting mobile gaming to grow in next two or three years. Currently around 100 million users are playing e-sports on mobile. Also, another trend we see is that communication through Instagram and WhatsApp is increasing following its controlled nature. These social media platforms allows consumer to keep the conversations private as a result of which it is gaining the popularity.”

In terms of sports, Karnik said IPL has paved the way for the sporting league. “We are seeing a trend of league emerging more in terms of geography. For instance, volleyball is mainly played in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Similarly wrestling and kabaddi have their own markets. We will like to align the leagues geographically,” he said.

According to the report, the trend of integrating sport talent in the campaign will grow, Karnik said. Talent will take a centre stage in the brands, especially talents from regional plays such as kabaddi and wrestling.

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